Saturday 24 December 2011

Nendoroid: Totori Helmold (GSC)

Oh, lookie here! Poke the Merch's first nendoroid review! Aren't these little figures absolutely adorable? Don't you just wanna mix faces and body parts with all of them? Well, tough for me because I only have one so far, but Totori is an adorable character and her nendoroid captures her character perfectly. So how are Good Smile Company's nendoroids?

I must confess that I didn't have much interest in purchasing an actual nendoroid in the past, but after playing Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland, I wanted this little figure on my desk.  Her box, sporting her nendo number (159), is simple but pretty.  The colours match her outfit nicely and is decorated with a dark yellow (possibly meant to replicate gold).

Totori here is quite adorable. She's got that happy-innocent expression plastered to her face and she wears a lovely outfit that simply just draws you to her.

As we all know (or should know by now), customization is one of the greatest features of a nendoroid.  Totori comes with an assortment of goodies that relate to her character in the game.  This little one comes with two extra heads, an extra piece of hair, her delicate little staff, Chim, two test tubes, one flask, a travel bag, a dynamite (yes, a dynamite), and her base.

Let's start off with her staff, which is painted quite beautifully, I must say.  I love the gold heart surrounding the red gem placed at the centre because GSC didn't cheap out and use a bland brown with no shine.  On another note, Totori's staff matches with her head piece.  If you look at the two images above you'll see that her headpiece is painted gold and has a shiny red gem in the middle of a heart.  Pretty neat, right?

I must say her Chim, a little homunculus that assists her in the Atelier, is my favourite item/piece in this box.  She's adorable in and outside of the game.  Chim often wears an emotionless expression on her features in the game, but every once in a while, she will blush or smile, making you want to squeal and hug her.  Just a little.

Chim here has elongated sleeves (or just tiny arms) so you can't see her hands.   Do I love her?  Hell yeah!  She works beautifully with some petals and dried leaves in the background.

I was surprised and scared when I accidentally knocked off one of her pigtails.  It turns out you can actually remove them and then, if you want, stick them back into her head.  There is much to learn about nendoroids, I can tell you that much.  I don't want to start tugging on certain sections of my Totori because I fear I will have to actually glue her back together.  Who knows can or can't be removed on figures nowadays?

If you look at the images below, you can see that one of her pigtails is coming loose.

All right, you can stop ogling at my cute little Chim now.  Let's move onto the other items that come with Totori!

So there are two extra heads included with this Totori nendoroid.  They're not extravagant by any means, nor are they hilarious, but they are cute.  As mentioned earlier, the great thing about nendoroids is that you can exchange body parts and attachments with other nendoroids.  So let's check out Totori's expressions and attachments!
Would you like a mysterious drink or a dynamite?
Don't you just adore that bright smile?  Don't you just want to pinch her plastic cheeks?  This lovely little expression would work wonderfully on any nendoroid (even the gloomy looking ones).  The funny thing is that she could smile and give you a dynamite at the same time.  Granted, the dynamite that comes in the box isn't a "lit" one, but it's fun making note that it's both cute and wrong at the same time.

Speaking of the dynamite, I have a love-hate relationship with it.  The peg that goes into Totori's hand makes the bomb seem like it's going to fall right off her hand.  From a different angle, it appears to be a floating object.  I couldn't push it in any further than that, unfortunately.  I originally believed it would go in completely so it doesn't look like her hand grew something very unnatural.

If you think about it carefully though, why is the dynamite positioned like that?  I suppose you can say it's supposed to fall off, but that's a rather strange way of letting it go, don't you think?  At the very least, her fingers should be wrapped around the base of the object, but it doesn't seem like that's going to work in my favour.

As you can see, even the stock photo on the box shows that the dynamite peg is meant to stick out.  How disappointing...

Now we have a sad face for Totori.  It's the look of failure.  Poor girl can't synthesize correctly in this shot.

From far away, Totori looks great, you know, having failed an experiment, but up close the face looks somewhat strange to me.  I know this may sound weird, but there doesn't seem to be enough...emotion in it.  Sure, it's cute because it's a nendo face, but it still feels off.  This might be the result of me thinking too hard.  I sure hope that's the case.

Maybe it's the lips...or the closed eye, but something
doesn't feel right here...
As much as I adore my nendoroid, I find that she falls apart far too easily, which is actually a big flaw for me. When I'm putting her pieces together, especially her arms, I must do it delicately or else the pieces fall, one after the other... I would like to believe it's because of her hair. She's got a few large strands sticking out from above her shoulders and if those make contact with her detachable arms, they fall right off. Sad, I know. I find myself frustrated whenever I want to change up her pose. In fact, I kept her in one pose for about a month or two just to avoid this frustration.

The test tubes and flask are extremely thin and tiny, and dear lord, I fear the day one just happens to get lost.  They only fit so well in Totori's hands!  I've had them fall off a couple of times, but I'm just going to hope for the best.

I can't say I'm too fond of the base either.  Even though you have the freedom of deciding where Totori stands (or floats), it's not flattering for the figure.  I would have preferred a base similar to the one in the stock photos.  Flat and circular.  It's simple and doesn't have countless holes in them.  It's more difficult to take nice pictures with a giant base and flexible plastic pole standing in the way.  I wish Totori could stand on her own, but we can't have it all, right?

Being one of the older Nendoroids in the series, Totori doesn't have a magnet in her back. Instead you pull a piece of her hair out from the back and replace it with an identical one. The only difference is that this one has a hole in it. This little adventurer definitely can't stand on her own. Just look at her puny stature!

On the plus side, you can put Totori in a sitting position, which means a clunky base is not necessary.  Sure, her big head may cause her to topple over every so often, but more often than not, she is able to stay in one pose without a chunky base in the way!

The bow she wears when standing
When putting Totori into a sitting position, you have to make some adjustments to her costume.  For example, you have to switch out her bow in the back or else it will fall off.  It looks like Good Smile Company thought ahead on this one!

The bow she wears when sitting
Overall I believe the Totori nendoroid is absolutely charming, though I'm sure that goes without saying for most nendoroids.  I only wish her arms were sculpted better because I find that they fall off far more often than they should. Perhaps that's just me not being able to put my own nendoroid together but I never imagined having that much difficulty with swapping pieces on a small figure.

Box: 7/10 (Cute colours, but nothing particularly special about it)
Pose: 7.5/10 (Totori's got two sets of legs so she can sit or stand.  Her arms aren't the most impressive though)
Sculpt: 6/10 (Great hair, great head, great body, amazing skirt and head piece, bad arms.  I can't say I'm fond of putting her together sometimes.)
Paint: 7.5/10 (A few leaks here and there but the headpiece, staff, and skirt make up for it)
Enjoyability: 8/10 (She looks great on the desk with my other figures, but I don't change her post often because it's frustrating.)

Manufacturer: Good Smile Company
Purchased from: Mandarake
Price: 2500 ¥ (Original price: 3000 ¥)


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